Almost all of us, as a child, dreamed of staying in a royal palace. sitting on the Fort’s Cliff, dressed in royal clothes, while sipping our favourite drink and enjoying the magnificent view from there when we visit Rajasthan. Sounds great, doesn’t it? With all the colourful curtains, pillows, queen-sized beds, beautiful mirrors, and massive gates guarding the forts against the enemy, palaces have always been a dream! Rajasthan, a gem in the crown of India, can make your fairy tale come true. Often referred to as the ‘Land of Kings,’ Rajasthan is one of India’s treasures.
“The Land of Kings,” Rajasthan today is a strange mix of ancient and royal grandeur. Massive forts dominate the region, throwing you back to the days of endless battles that these Kshatriyas prided themselves in. It flaunts beautiful scenery, if you don’t mind the great Thar desert, that is. And as if to defy the predominantly dry and arid landscape, the people are brilliantly decked in colourful saris, bright turbans, and beautiful chunky jewellery.
This state rejoices the true spirit of India and presents one of the exquisite cultures in this country. It is an incredible destination for all tourists who are fed up with conventional spots.
The Capital of Rajasthan is JAIPUR, the famed Pinked City. The name is not unjustified if you take a quick look around. Most of the buildings in the Old city are made of pink sandstone. The town was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727, dutifully following the norms of the Shilpa Shastra, the ancient Hindu guidebook to architecture.
The palaces are the gems of the crown of Jaipur. Flaunting the finest architecture and rich history, it displays the princely heritage that Jaipur is famous for.
The Palace of Amber and the Fort
An exemplary palace, Amer is a majestic masterpiece and the best Palace in Jaipur. Situated on the top of the hill overlooking Maota Lake, Raja Man Singh was built using marble and red sandstone. The Palace features a mix of Hindu-Muslim architecture decorated with intricate carvings and gemstones. The main attraction is the ‘Sheesh Mahal,’ a hall embellished with thousands of mirror tiles on the ceilings illuminating the entire space when the sun’s rays fall on the mirror. Take an elephant ride to the Fort for an enjoyable experience and catch the light and sound show later in the evening.
The City Palace
The marvellous city palace is the famous Palace of Jaipur. Its architecture will create a sense of wonder as you witness and marvel at the beautiful exterior displaying Mughal and Rajput design fusion. Admire the delicate peacock designs on the gates and explore the interiors, the luxurious courtyards, the picturesque garden, and the museum.
The magnificent iconic red and pink sandstone building is one of the most distinct styled palaces and famous sightseeing spots in Jaipur. It’s one of the inspirations for the nickname ‘Pink City.‘ The ‘Palace of the Winds,’ which looks like a honeycomb, features an intricate lattice-like structure with a myriad of windows to allow ventilation into the Palace and keep it cool during the hot summer months.
Another important reason for the design was to enable the women of the royal household to watch the commemorations and gatherings on the streets while remaining hidden from people’s eyes, as was the era’s custom, also known as ‘Purdah.’
The most exciting thing to see in Jaipur is a quiet palace in Man Sagar Lake’s middle. Although it is prohibited to enter the Palace, one can take pictures from a distance. The gorgeous Palace becomes even more stunning at night when lit and reflected in the clear water. The 5-storey Palace has four storeys immersed in the water, while only the top floor is visible.
Some of the other impressive palaces worth visiting are the Hari Mahal Palace, the Samode Palace, the Narain Niwas Palace, the Raj Mahal Palace, the Rambagh Palace, and the Sisodia Rani Garden and the Palace, which has now been transformed into a vacation resort.
Forts in Jaipur
The forts are some of the best places to visit in Jaipur as they offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
The Fort of Nahargarh
An astonishingly imposing structure, situated high on the Aravalli Hills, is one of the perfect spots to visit in Jaipur to catch sight of the mesmerizing sunset and witness the stunning aerial view city that is lit at night. Adorned with absolutely gorgeous stonework and murals, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built it in 1734 as a retreat for the royal family’s women. The Fort also houses a natural park that houses leopards, tigers, Asian lions, a wax museum, and a sculpture park. Nahargarh Fort came to the limelight after seeing in the 2006 blockbuster movie ‘Rang de Basanti.‘
Fort of Jaigarh
It is also known as the ‘Fort of Victory‘ because it has never been captured, the exceptional Fort at Cheel Ka Tilla, with its guard towers and bastions. Apart from offering enthralling views, the ‘Jaivana‘ is currently home to the world’s largest and innovative wheeled cannon. The fort complex consists of a palace, an armoury, a park, and a museum.
The other three and must-visit tourist attraction in Jaipur is Chokhi Dani, Chand Baori and Jantar Mantar.
Choki Dhani is an ethnic concept village created to give tourists a royal taste of when they visit Rajasthan. Engage in the multitude of amusing options offered at this luxury resort, such as horseback riding and camel riding, watching puppet shows and ethnic folk dances, marvelling at the fine arts, and delighting in authentic Rajasthan delicacies.
Chand Baori, which is 2 hours drive from Jaipur, is a prehistoric step-well that leaves one flabbergasted due to its breathtaking symmetrical architectural design. The complex is 64 feet deep and consists of 13 floors with a labyrinth-like pattern. The steps encircle the water from three sides. In contrast, the fourth side features a three-storey pavilion with beautifully carved jharokhas, galleries supported by pillars, and two projecting balconies with some intricately carved sculptures.
The Jantar Mantar is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II, a bigger and better version of the observatory he had built four years earlier in Delhi.
South of Jaipur is Ajmer, an ancient town in the lap of greenery overlooking the Ana Sagar Lake and framed by hills. The Dargah of a twelfth-century Sufi Saint is a major center of pilgrimage for Indian Muslims. It is believed that if you pray for anything with a pure heart in the Ajmer Dargah, it is bound to be fulfilled.
This renowned sanctuary, built by Emperor Humayun of Mughal, features a series of large doors featuring beautiful carvings as you enter the Dargah. All of these doors are made of pure silver, and the elaborate carvings are a treat to watch. Once you reach the courtyard, you can see the godly saint’s tomb, Moinuddin Chishti, carved out of marble. There is a gold plating on the top of the Darga, guarded by a railing made of pure silver and marble. There is a sense of calm and tranquillity within the Dargah premises that you would never find anywhere.
Ajmer, always a town of strategic importance, also has a fort built by Akbar, which houses the Ajmer museum. And a Jain temple that traces the progression of Jain mythology.
If there is a city in Rajasthan with more delicate splendour than the Pink city, it is UDAIPUR, the “City of Sunrise.” Built-in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, believed to be a member of the Solar dynasty, this city on a lake is a stark contrast to the arid landscape of other towns of the state.
Mahals, courtyards, corridors, hanging gardens, terraces, arches, domes, medieval, Chinese and European influences all this extravagance and awe-inspiring beauty are enclosed in the Palace’s creamy walls. Located at the top of the Bansdar Mountain, this Palace was built to look at the clouds and the stars’ movements.
Stashed with Palaces of varying splendour, Udaipur’s main attraction is Lake Pichola, the enormous spread of water with its Picturesque island hosting luxurious ancient palaces.
Udaipur is also known as the land of lakes. It is blessed with Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaisagar Lake, Jaisamad Lake, Rajsamand Lake, Badi Lake, and Swaroop Sagar Lake.
Gape at the stern Kumbhalgarh Fort, just 84 kilometres away from the city. The Fort has made its mark in history as the second largest wall after the Great Wall of China. The magnificent Fort is 3600 ft high and 38km long, which surrounds the Udaipur area. The Fort has seven fortified gateways, several Hindu and Jain temples, and the Lakhola Tank and Badshahi Bavdi.
The Fort of Chittorgarh lies at a distance of 112 km from the town of Udaipur in Rajasthan. This massive Fort covers 700 acres, with a length of 3 km and a periphery of 13 km. Standing on a high hill of 180m, the Impregnable Fort witnessed three battles.
The Fort of Chittorgarh has a gigantic structure secured by its seven gigantic gates (Pols) made up of strong iron spikes and served as a watchtower in earlier times.
Apart from these massive gates, the Fort has several palaces to boast of, including Rana Kumbha Palace and Padmini Palace, which are Rajput architecture’s wonders. Padmini’s Palace is the same Palace used to serve the beautiful queen of Rattan Singh. Rana Kumbha Palace is a place that has underground cellars where Queen Padmini, along with the children and other ladies of the household, committed ‘Jauhar.’
The Fort also includes several temples, including the Temple of Sammidheshwara, the Temple of Jain, the Temple of Kalika Mata, the Temple of Meerabai, the Temple of Neelkanth Mahadev, and the Temple of Kumbha Shyam. Gaumukh Reservoir is a massive water tank that gets water from Cow’s mouth shaped rock.
Above all, the Fort has towers depicting the proud heritage of the rulers of Rajput. Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh are the most famous towers to celebrate the victory of Rajputs. Kirti Stambh is the tower that means the Tower of Fame.
Talking about Vijay Stambh means ‘the tower of victory‘ and is the most impressive structure of the Chittorgarh Fort.
The magnificent monuments of this Fort are worth spending some time in seclusion pondering over the heroism of Mewar rulers. This heritage fort is a ‘must-visit Rajasthan place’ that cannot be afforded to miss.
One of the oldest cities of Rajasthan and the largest after Jaipur is JODHPUR. Founded in 1459 by the Rajput king, Rao Jodha, this city has been immortalized in international parlance for a specific style of trousers once worn here, the horse riders breeches or ‘Jodhpurs”. But there is more to the city than a memory of tight pants.
The Old City is a labyrinth of narrow streets surrounded by a sixteenth-century wall. Looming over the medieval city is the Meherangarh Fort, a majestic statement of power standing on a hill.
The Palaces inside the Fort give an authentic flavour of Rajput Royalty. Apart from a fantastic collection of paintings, musical instruments, furniture, and costumes, they host an outstanding assembly of the armoury, cannons, palanquins, and elephant howdahs, bringing the maharajas of legends and fairy tales to life.
And no trip to Rajasthan can be complete without the golden city of JAISALMER. Dotted with exquisite mansions in soft amber sandstone, the city with a golden glow is like a dream town, apart from the twelfth-century hilltop fort, which flaunts a seven storeyed palace.
Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world; this is a sight to behold, especially at night when it’s all lit up. Then there is the opulent Havelis, each resplendent in its own architectural style and exceptional craftsmanship that you must visit. Of the prominent Havelis, you have to include Patwon Ki Haveli, Nathmal Ki Haveli, and Salim Singh Ki Haveli. Don’t miss Bada Bagh, a stunning architectural wonder that’s going to give you a lot of beautiful pictures.
Other places to visit in Jaisalmer include Jain Temples, Gadisar Lake, and Lodhruva – an ancient town near – there’s just so much to see and absorb here.
You can’t visit Jaisalmer and miss the dunes. Take a camel ride and scream in mock fear as it takes you over the dips and the sand. A jeep safari is another way to do the same thing, but it’s speedier and more exciting. You can see the beautiful desert festival if you visit between February and March. Colourful folk dances, camel races, artists, and other traditional fanfares will blow your mind. Keep your camera charged and ready because every minute, you’re going to have a new moment to capture. You can also visit Khuri, famous for its sand dunes.
If you feel a little more adventuresome, can we recommend a trip to the haunted village of Kuldhara? Its residents cursed this deserted village as they left in the mass exodus, ensuring no one would ever stay there. Take a journey down history as you walk past its abandoned, crumbling walls.
Ranthambore & Bharatpur Tour
Apart from these Royal retreats, Rajasthan has two of the most beautiful natural parks. RANTHAMBORE is a wildlife reserve, where tigers are the main attraction. The most famous national park in Rajasthan was a hunting ground for maharajas in the past. Declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this park is adorned with several rare species of leopards, sloth bears, nilgais, and sambars.
On the other hand, BHARATPUR is a bird sanctuary where migratory birds come in from around the world, especially from Siberia.
Mount Abu & Pushkar Tour
For a quiet holiday in the Hills, go to MOUNT ABU, a historic desert town that sits high up in the mountains, surrounded by lush forests, flowing waterfalls and full lakes, towering peaks and beautiful temples, marvellous forts, and a teeming wildlife sanctuary. In the Aravalli Mountains of Rajasthan, Mount Abu is yet another tourist gem of India’s most colourful state — and arguably its rarest. For its roots traced as far back as mythology!
And for peace by the waterside, take a trip to PUSHKAR, the pretty town on the shores of Lake Pushkar. Pushkar boasts of Brahma, temple, ghats, lake, and bazaar. The centrepiece of the city is the excellent Pushkar Lake that makes for a scenic image. Many ghats and temples surround the lake, which creates a vivid image of the town, which will stay engraved on your mind even long after the Pushkar Tours.
It helps to cool your heels after being subjected to the valour and vigour of Rajputana!
Rajasthan has no beaches like the Maldives or Goa; it’s all about the desert Safari and the sand. The most colourful bazaars in India, the royal mansions; Rajasthan is a celebration of festivals and traditions. The forts here have been renovated and transformed into great restaurants to make you stay and live your dreams. During festivals and events, the whole state is transformed into an explosion of colours, making it more beautiful than usual. Whether it’s National Parks, Forts, or Monuments, Rajasthan won’t dishearten you. Due to the increase of tourists coming to Rajasthan, it’s getting better every day, allowing more people from all over the world to visit the place and embrace the true spirit of Rajasthan.
Exciting Facts About Rajasthan – Forgotten Fables to Remember When We Visit Rajasthan
- Rajasthan has the world’s 9th largest subtropical desert; Thar proudly resides in the state of Rajasthan.
- It has Aravalli: The Oldest Range Of Fold Mountains
- Kumbhalgarh Fort: Longest Walls In The World after the Great Wall of China
- 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – The vibrant state of Rajasthan is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Chittorgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Keoladeo National Park, and Jantar Mantar.
- The Indian Railways and Rajasthan tourism offer the Luxurious Transfers: The Palace On Wheels – One of India’s most luxurious trains, the Palace on wheels was initiated in 1982.
- The first nuclear test in India was conducted in Pokhran – Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan in 1974.
- Chotila, Jodhpur is abode to the Temple of Bullet Baba. Here, the sacred deity is a bullet motorcycle, while the religious offering is alcohol.
- Deshnok’s Karni Mata temple contains approximately 25,000 rats believed to be the reincarnated heirs of the sacred deity – Karni Mata.
- Jantar Mantar of Jaipur comprises the largest stone sundial in the world
- The 17th century – Bhangarh Fort is rumoured to be one of the most haunted forts in India.
- Rajasthan has only one hill station, Mount Abu
- Pushkar is abode to the only temple of Lord Brahma in the world
- The place hosts some of India’s major festivals, including the International Camel Festival, The Pushkar Fair, Jaipur Literature Festival, etc.
- Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur is among the best heritage hotels in the world
- The white marble of Taj Mahal (Sangemarmar) was mined from Makrana in Nagaur district of Rajasthan